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Microsoft, AT&T Ready Windows Phone 7 Promotions

10/18/2010 12:01:00 AM Eastern

NEW YORK — Microsoft will launch its Windows 7
Phone ad campaign in late October, followed by AT&T’s
own advertising to promote the carrier’s Nov. 8 launch of
the U.S. market’s first Windows Phone 7 smartphone,
AT&T told TWICE.

AT&T’s advertising will include national TV, print and online
ads, a spokesman said without disclosing details.

For its part, Microsoft’s marketing campaign will include
“a mix of TV, print and digital, allowing us to go direct with
a broad group of people at time and targeting niche audiences
at others,” a company spokesperson said.

Microsoft declined to comment on a Wall Street Journal
report that it would spend $100 million to promote the OS.

One of Microsoft’s TV commercials highlights the chaos
that can ensue when consumers spend a lot of time trying to
use complicated smartphones and stop paying attention to
what’s going on around them. The commercial refers to Windows
Phone 7 OS and its Hubs and Live Tiles as a solution.

T-Mobile didn’t disclose details of its promotion plans for
a smartphone OS that Microsoft is banking on to reverse
its sliding smartphone share in the face of Apple and Black-
Berry dominance and an onslaught of new Android-based
smartphones coming in the following months (see p. 32).

For their part, analysts are divided over whether the
new OS will help Microsoft regain share. Gartner projects
that Microsoft’s worldwide smartphone share will tick up
in 2001 from 2010’s 4.7 percent but drop back down in
2014 to 3.9 percent. IDC forecasts Microsoft’s share will
go from 6.8 percent in 2010 to 9.8 percent in 2014.

Despite Microsoft’s expected growth, the market will support up to five smartphone OSs, but no OS will dominate,
an IDC report added.

However since many OSs co-exist, the Windows launch
is “critically important for Microsoft because computing is
going mobile, and Microsoft can’t afford to cede that market
to Apple and Google,” Current Analysis research director
Avi Greengart told TWICE.

“Two things stand out” about the OS, he said. “The way
the features are implemented and integrated is very, very
different from the iPhone and Android phones,” he said.
He also cited Xbox Live integration, enabling users to view
friends, avatars, achievements, and the like but not yet enabling
online multiplayer gaming via the handset.